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Old 2nd August 2020, 12:57   #1
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Default Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

A friend of mine, who is not on Team BHP, has asked for a suggestion for purchasing a new bike.

Background:

My friend is a banker, currently serving in Tiruvannamalai region of TN. He is on the wrong side of his 20's but is still a bachelor.

Requirements:

Since he is a banker, his requirements are as follows:
1. Needs to have rock solid reliability
2. He will need to go on regular 40-50 kms tours (one side) daily, sometimes into the interior villages, so the ride for himself and the occasional pillion should be comfortable.
3. Easy availability of spares and service at reasonable (read - low) prices. He may not have the luxury of tier 1 towns often.
4. His budget is upto Rs 2 lacs. Can stretch slightly but not much.
5. Decent fuel economy. Not looking at 100 kmpl but not looking at ~20kmpl either.

I have suggested the Dominar Twins to him and we have mutually ruled out R15. He has seen the Suzuki Gixxer 250 though I am not very much optimistic about its ASS and availability of spares.

Kindly share your suggestions / experiences and help me help my friend in choosing the bike of his dreams.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 13:18   #2
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post
Kindly share your suggestions / experiences and help me help my friend in choosing the bike of his dreams.
In the budget of around ₹2 lakh, the Dominar would be perfect for him. The bike has universally good reviews with hardly any reported problems.
Another good option would be the Himalayan, especially if he needs to travel on bad village roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post
He is on the wrong side of his 20's but is still a bachelor.
Sorry that made me laugh out loud - like us senior people would tell you, there is no wrong side to 20s
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Old 2nd August 2020, 13:45   #3
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post
Kindly share your suggestions / experiences and help me help my friend in choosing the bike of his dreams.
If he is in TN, then the Apache 200 makes a strong case for itself. If 200 is overkill for his purpose, then one of Apache 160 or 180 can be considered. Even small towns and villages will have at least 1 TVS ASC. Please ask your friend to take a test ride.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 14:23   #4
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post

Requirements:

Since he is a banker, his requirements are as follows:
1. Needs to have rock solid reliability
2. He will need to go on regular 40-50 kms tours (one side) daily, sometimes into the interior villages, so the ride for himself and the occasional pillion should be comfortable.
3. Easy availability of spares and service at reasonable (read - low) prices. He may not have the luxury of tier 1 towns often.
4. His budget is upto Rs 2 lacs. Can stretch slightly but not much.
5. Decent fuel economy. Not looking at 100 kmpl but not looking at ~20kmpl either.
The requirements that you have listed can be fulfilled by mane bikes and your friend doesn't really need to shell out 2L for it, it can be done on a humble splendor as well as a Himalayan.

The above requirements are screaming out the word "Commuter bike" in which case again there are so many options. However if you can list out down other priorities of your friend like
1. His preferred riding style ?
2. What use apart from office commutes is he planning ?
3. What other members he has in his garage ?
4. How fast he wants to go ?

Knowing things like this will narrow down the suggestion and choice criteria as well. Also his height, weight and if any back/knee/hip problem if there is that may need some extra management.

And btw wrong side of 20's and still a bachelor is actually the right side (same boat I am in)
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Old 2nd August 2020, 14:31   #5
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post
Kindly share your suggestions / experiences and help me help my friend in choosing the bike of his dreams.
Since Dominar is in your radar, I would also suggest TVS 200 4V. You can even have a look at Yamaha FZS as well.

Please test drive all the shortlisted bikes before finalising (If you can given the Covid situation).

- Aayush
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Old 2nd August 2020, 15:24   #6
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post


2. He will need to go on regular 40-50 kms tours (one side) daily, sometimes into the interior villages, so the ride for himself and the occasional pillion should be comfortable.
5. Decent fuel economy. Not looking at 100 kmpl but not looking at ~20kmpl either.

Hmmm,, pillion comfort is a tough criteria. And I dont think the Gixxer is any good in this regard, neither is the Apache 200.

My suggestions would be, in no particular order

1: Fazer 25/FZ25 40-ish KMPL
2: Himalayan 30-ish KMPL
3:Hero x-pulse 40-ish KMPL (maybe even 50-ish)
4: Dominar 30-ish kmpl (less than 35, for sure)

My Pulsar NS 200 carb gives me 40+ kmpl, but the rear seat is nothing to write home about.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 18:28   #7
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

The feedback that I have received from my friends here who own the Dominar 400 is that it does have its share of niggles and requires visits to the SVC to fix them. In fact a friend owns the Dominar 400 and his younger brother is looking for a bike and they are looking at all options except the Dominar 400!

The options listed by the members above are really good, the Suzuki 250 is highly under rated and worth a strong look. It isnt known to be troublesome so visits to the SVC will be limited to just regular, timely services.

I would say at around the Rs 1.6 L mark, its the TVS Apache 200 RTR 4V all the way. Above Rs 2 L, the Himalayan is a good recommendation (despite its troubled past), the BS6 version is supposedly quite good.

I would say, the final decision should come down to either the Apache 200 or the Gixxer 250. Your friend cant go wrong with either.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 18:55   #8
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post
My friend is a banker, currently serving in Tiruvannamalai region of TN.

He is on the wrong side of his 20's but is still a bachelor.
Tiruvannamalai in TN can best be called a Tier 3 city/town. It is not advisable to go for high capacity complicated motorcycles when your friend is situated in such locality.

Do not consider the Dominar in Tiruvannamalai. I'm based in Vellore, which is the adjacent, more commercial district. Bajaj ASS here itself is dismal when it comes to sales & service of the Dominar - please stay away from it.

For the needs mentioned, a 160 cc should suffice.

Honda Hornet 160 - Can tour at reasonable speeds, is comfortable and reliable
TVS Apache 180/200 - Sportier than the Hornet, more powerful as well
Suzuki Gixxer 150 - Similar to the Hornet. Check out local Suzuki ASS thoroughly before making a decision
RE Classic 350 - It he is not averse to Enfields, this would be my pick

Even if he has a 2L budget, it would do your friend a lot of good if he can undercut it significantly. I'm presuming the purchase is going to be with loan. There's no peace of mind like a debt free life, the wise say! Minimise the loan and EMI amount as much as possible. He can upgrade to a 400-600 cc later when he's a bit more settled in life.

Also, there's no wrong side to 20's, neither 30's nor 40's! You made a lot of senior people laugh with that phrase if yours!
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Old 3rd August 2020, 01:21   #9
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasjotbains View Post
20's .....rock solid reliability
.....ride for himself and the occasional pillion should be comfortable.....Easy availability of spares and service at reasonable (read - low) prices.....budget is upto Rs 2 lacs. .....Decent fuel economy.
The excerpts from the above criteria that your friend is looking for, IMO please have a look at the FZ-25.

Although very underrated, this one bike suits all of the above requirements in my opinion.

Adequate torque, smooth yet a fun machine with pocket friendly maintenance and spares cost.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 11:59   #10
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Per me, the Himalayan should be just perfect. It is comfortable for all size riders, Servicing shouldn't be an issue. The latter models of Himalayan seem reliable and abuse friendly, the fuel economy is decent enough. Icing on the cake should be it's suspension, luggage carrying capabilities and long distance riding capabilities.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 12:20   #11
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

For the kind of requirements you have mentioned, the Classic 350 or Himalayan should be the preferred candidates.

These are comfortable and robust enough to tackle the rural infrastructures.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 15:39   #12
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Default re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Since he is a banker out for duty, I suppose he will have to carry documents and stuff along. Himalayan with the availability of ready made lockable panniers and top boxes would give more options for carrying the luggage than the other options. And it would not be that difficult to fix at remote places since RE is pretty popular in TN.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 21:26   #13
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

If its TN, even my vote goes for the TVS Apache. Their service network and spares availability etc is excellent. And since your friend is looking for a commuter bike, the Dominar is an overkill.

As an example, although I am from Bangalore, I spend a good amount of time in Denkanikottai town in Krishnagiri Dist and I notice that most of the people there from bank officer to village officials to local electricians/plumbers etc all use some bike from the TVS stable. And although riding triples is illegal, at any given time you find many of these bikes being happily ridden thru slush and gravel roads with 3 people on the bike. So there is adequate power. I have myself taken a pillion ride (not triples!) to a neighboring village on the Apache 160 and the ride was fairly decent for a 6ft frame of mine, I was relatively comfortable. And for his kind of needs, mounting a Studds type single lockable plastic side case and perhaps a tank top pouch is all that will be required to carry his papers etc. A Himalayan kind of expensive aluminum pannier is not required.

Last edited by Haroon : 3rd August 2020 at 21:27.
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Old 4th August 2020, 08:35   #14
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

The word "Villages" is something that caught my eye. For bad roads, only two motorcycles fit the bill, Himalayan and the xpulse. If mileage is the concern then the xpulse will be a better choice. Both bikes have a comfortable riding position.
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Old 4th August 2020, 09:01   #15
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Default Re: Which motorcycle? 100 km daily touring, including villages

Is a bike necessary? As he has decent budget, I would advice for a used Car or even a new Car (e.g. Kwid, Alto) by stretching budget a bit (may be expanding loan tenure).

There are so many advantages a Car would provide over a bike, like safety for him, safety for documents and other stuff he carries etc.
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